Lahli gears up for Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is set to play what many believe may be his last domestic match when Mumbai take on Haryana in their Ranji Trophy opener at Lahli.
A 15-year-old Tendulkar made his first-class debut in the 1988-89 season in a Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium. He walked into the middle when Lalchand Rajput was run out for 99, and faced his first delivery from offspinner Nisarg Patel before going on to score 100 not out. Read Patel's memories in Mid-Day here.
Twenty-five years later the village of Lahli gears up for the Haryana-Mumbai season opener. The Times of India reports that there is such a rush for Tendulkar posters that "the only shop that sells them, in neighbouring Kalanaur village, about 12km from the stadium, has run out of stock in no time."
Meanwhile, the Indian Express reports that all is quiet in the Mumbai dressing room as they prepare for the match. "We know it's his last domestic match, but nobody wants to say anything," said Wasim Jaffer, the former India opener who also plays for Mumbai.
"Sachin spoiled our momentum in the second innings with his smashing knock," said former India and Haryana medium-pacer Chetan Sharma. "When he started hitting, none of us [the bowlers] knew where to pitch the ball. With his breezy batting he opened up the match, which was in our control until then."
Sharma also revealed how Sunil Gavaskar warned them at a dinner. "Sunny bhai told me that if we can get that 'chotu' out, the match would be ours."
Here's ESPNcricinfo's interview with Amol Muzumdar about that great Ranji Trophy final.